Bridges - Design and construction
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Caissons - History
Caissons - History - 19th century
Hydrotherapy - History - 19th century
John A. Roebling's Sons Company
John A. Roebling Bridge (Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Ky.)
Military bridges - Design and construction - United States
Railroad bridges - history
Roebling, Charles G. (Charles Gustavus), 1849-1918
Roebling, Emily Warren, 1843-1903
Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869
Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926
Spiritualism - History
Spiritualism - History - 19th century
Warren G.K. (Gouvernuer Kemble), 1830-1882
Williamsburg Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Collection Inventory: Roebling Collection
The Roebling collection (MC 04) documents the personal and professional activities of John A. Roebling and Washington A. Roebling; and business activities of the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. The material dates from 1830 to 1926 with the bulk of the material dating from 1844 to 1883, the period of time when John A. Roebling and Washington A. Roebling were active in the design and construction of suspension bridges and the manufacture of wire rope.
The collection consists of manuscript correspondence, technical notes, design drawings, notebooks, account books, reports, legal documents, patents, maps, newspaper and magazine clippings, published items, photographs and lithographs. Especially significant are the extensive records documenting the planning and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1883. Documents include correspondence of both John and Washington Roebling; small and oversize drawings of construction plans and machinery; specifications of work to be done; and reports on construction progress and the completed structure. Also in the collection are smaller quantities of similar records for other bridges built by the Roeblings including the Allegheny Aqueduct, Niagara Railroad Suspension Bridge, Covington & Cincinnati Bridge and the Delaware and Hudson Canal Aqueduct. Records for bridges proposed, but not built, by the Roeblings include the Kentucky River Bridge, Tripartite Bridge and the St. Louis River Bridge. Records of John A. Roebling’s wire rope manufacturing business (eventually named the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company or JARSCO) include drawings of wire rope machines designed by John A. Roebling.
Pocket notebooks contain rough sketches and field notes on many of the engineering projects and on business and personal matters. Several design notebooks contain similar information in greater detail, as well as cost estimates and copies of related correspondence. The 151 notebooks, which often contain multiple subjects, have been numbered and arranged in the most relevant series.
A small amount of personal records include John A. Roebling’s notes on spiritualism, financial and legal records, and his will. Washington A. Roebling’s personal papers document his interest in the First World War and include a collection of tourist maps. A small amount of material belonging to Emily Warren Roebling, Charles G. Roebling, and Gouverneur Warren are also included in this collection. Scrapbooks kept by Emily Roebling chronicle the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and an additional book documents her interest in theater and opera.
Series I: John A. Roebling
Series II: Washington A. Roebling
Series III: Brooklyn (East River) Bridge
Series IV: John A. Roebling’s Sons Company (JARSCO)
Series V: Emily Roebling, 1867-1883
Series VI: Charles G. Roebling, 1860-1918
Series VII: Gouverneur Warren, undated
Series VIII: Images
Series IX: Artifacts, 1869 - circa 1883
Series X: Addendum